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UK Asylum Seekers: Let The Right Ones In
September 30, 2009 9:54 AM   Subscribe

The Home Office, the UK government department responsible for immigration control, has initiated a program to test the DNA from of potential asylum seekers in an attempt to confirm their true nationalities. The initial program is a six-month pilot limited to claimants arriving from the Horn of Africa. The program, currently using forensic samples provided on a voluntary basis, could potentially expand to other nationalities if successful. The Home Office spokeswoman said ancestral DNA testing would not be used alone but would be combined with language analysis, investigative interviewing techniques and other recognized forensic disciplines, but many are decrying the "deeply flawed" program, from refugee support groups to scientists in the genetic forensics fields (via).

Sandy Buchan, of Refugee Action:
Many of those who seek asylum are two or even three generations removed from the country of origin of their parents and grandparents, and are fleeing areas other than the nation of their birth. A Zimbabwean farmer fleeing persecution may possess the DNA of British relatives; would they be denied asylum on that basis?
Alec Jeffreys of the University of Leicester, who pioneered human DNA fingerprinting:
The Borders Agency is clearly making huge and unwarranted assumptions about population structure in Africa; the extensive research needed to determine population structure and the ability or otherwise of DNA to pinpoint ethnic origin in this region simply has not been done. Even if it did work (which I doubt), assigning a person to a population does not establish nationality - people move! The whole proposal is naive and scientifically flawed.
See also: Science Insider follow-up post and further reactions from experts in genetic forensic analysis.
posted by filthy light thief (55 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
This will wendell.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:03 AM on September 30, 2009


Children of Men: it's the new 1984.
posted by klanawa at 10:05 AM on September 30, 2009


What a great idea. It doesn't sound like the foundation of a scifi dystopia at all.
posted by dersins at 10:06 AM on September 30, 2009 [8 favorites]


This is absolutely disgusting.
posted by WPW at 10:07 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a needlessly complicated scheme. Just make them present their official oppression papers. Simple.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:08 AM on September 30, 2009


"Sorry! Based on your DNA, you may be persecuted as you claim. But not persecuted enough."
posted by contessa at 10:11 AM on September 30, 2009


Let us not forget that mitochondria were a signatory to the Treaty of Westphalia. They conceded to breaking up haplogroups based on nation-state boundaries and all they wanted in return was sugar. Sweet, sweet, sugar.

I'm currently reading Africa's World War by Gérard Prunier, which I highly recommend. The idea that you could determine nationality even if you had an accurate narrative of a person's life is really absurd. What do you do with things like ex-FAR soldiers living in refugee camps in Zaire? Or a child born within these camps? It really becomes a mind-fuck when you realize that Rwandan refugee camps in Zaire begin to transform from exiles to a foreign army in a foreign nation (Zaire) readying an attack on a third foreign nation (Rwanda) that for all intents and purposes is a completely different country from the when they were exiled.

If anything it begins to resemble Justinian Europe where you have Ostrogoth claiming that they aren't foreigners in the Italian peninsula, they are Romans, they use Roman law and have adopted Roman customs. The labels themselves become meaningless.
posted by geoff. at 10:16 AM on September 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


Gattica, here we come!
posted by hippybear at 10:17 AM on September 30, 2009


As time goes on, we measure with more and more skill and precision for stupider and stupider reasons.
posted by DU at 10:19 AM on September 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


because ethnicity and nationality are co-terminous. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by unSane at 10:22 AM on September 30, 2009


More fun facts, straight from the UK Border Agency:
In 2007, 19 out of every 100 people who applied for asylum were recognised as refugees and given asylum. Another nine out of every 100 who applied for asylum but did not qualify for refugee status were given permission to stay for humanitarian or other reasons. (At the time these figures were published, 17 in every 100 applications had not yet resulted in a final decision.)
For whatever reason, I couldn't find news of the DNA testing on the Border Agency or the broader Home Office website, but you can tell the Home Office folk what you think of the DNA database (primarily for criminals, though it's not clear of asylum seekers will be added to this database). See more: Keeping the right people on the DNA database (1mb PDF, Google HTML view).

The UK Border Agency website also has a section on how e-Borders work, including physical biometric information stored and associated with travelers, "coming soon."
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The nation-state defined by ethnicity was one of the stupider ideas the 20th century latched on to, and this was the century that gave us the pet rock and Neocons.
posted by The Whelk at 10:31 AM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


When has the British government not been evil, racist dirt bags?
posted by 2sheets at 10:36 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


So this would help identify the Good Africans from the Bad Africans.

Stay Classy Home Office!

(my actual thoughts have more to do with how they can kiss my big black ass, the evil of sorting people by "race" and a whole lot of cursing western societys persistent memes)
posted by djrock3k at 10:38 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not often you can describe something as "totally moronic" and not be accused of hyperbole, so enjoy the moment. I particularly like the example given of Kenyans passing themselves off as Somalis, as though a colonial border less than a few hundred years old means anything in terms of DNA.
posted by Sova at 10:39 AM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


That Guardian article is exactly the same hysterical make-people-angry bollocks you'd get in the Daily Mail, only with the keywords reversed.

(and it seems to be working)
posted by cillit bang at 10:42 AM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


I say let's start sending all immigrants back to where they belong.

Saxons back to Saxony! Britain for the Brittani!
posted by Kattullus at 10:42 AM on September 30, 2009


hippybear: "Gattica, here we come!"

GATTACA! GATTACA!
posted by Joe Beese at 10:43 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


You know who else identified good and bad Africans?

No, not him. The Tutsis and the Hutus. That went pretty badly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:43 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


After 2 years in the U.K., I'm really not surprised by this. I'm jaded which makes me sad.
posted by sundri at 11:03 AM on September 30, 2009


I say let's start sending all immigrants back to where they belong.

Saxons back to Saxony! Britain for the Brittani!


But wait, I'm an Anglo-Saxon! I'm one of those "hyphenated Saxons" you hear so much about. I feel totally integrated into Saxon life, but I feel proud of my individual Angle heritage. While I might fit in Saxony, I just feel it wouldn't be right for me. Somewhere sunnier might be better.

Can I have a DNA test to see if I'm not Somali? I hear the beaches are nice there...
posted by Sova at 11:06 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sova: Can I have a DNA test to see if I'm not Somali? I hear the beaches are nice there...

If you go sailing around there in a big boat they'll give you free room and board for an indefinite time.
posted by Kattullus at 11:11 AM on September 30, 2009


WTF
posted by whimsicalnymph at 11:17 AM on September 30, 2009


After 2 years in the U.K., I'm really not surprised by this. I'm jaded which makes me sad.

Yeah, you should go back to the USA, where a black man is always taken at his word when he says he's from one place and not another.
posted by eatyourcellphone at 11:21 AM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


When has the British government not been evil, racist dirt bags?

Let me know when Americans vote to have a Jew in charge.

Seriously, though, this is pretty repulsive. I would say, "It's a good thing Labour are likely to be arseholed out at the next election", because this is entirely consistent with the party of Jack Straw's approach to human rights; I fear, however, the the COnservative party will be no particular improvement.
posted by rodgerd at 11:25 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you should go back to the USA, where a black man is always taken at his word when he says he's from one place and not another.


An argument that would make more sense if, say, Congress had prevented Obama from taking the Presidency on those grounds. There's a difference between the beliefs of a few wingnuts on one hand, and the official actions of a government agency on the other [or, at least, you would hope there was].

The funny thing about being a foreigner here: applying for entry clearance from the UK staff in NZ couldn't have been easier or more pleasant. Actually coming through the borders is always straightforward and the border staff are great. But getting my work permit in the first place, and dealing with the office staff in the UK, is terrible. And the policies get worse and worse, whether for prospective workers or refugees.
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:33 AM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


But wait, I'm an Anglo-Saxon! I'm one of those "hyphenated Saxons" you hear so much about.

I'm afraid you'll be deported to Norwich. But seriously, has anyone seen a piece of tripe called UK Border Force on Sky One? They have "enforcement teams" that go to train stations etc., and basically ID/arrest anyone who "looks nervous/suspicious", all of whom just happened to be black.
posted by kersplunk at 11:34 AM on September 30, 2009


Are they using autosomal testing, such as the CODIS markers, or just the kind of bare bones y-chromosome/mtDNA analysis that we amateur genetic genealogists commonly use? The article doesn't say.

If they're stupid enough to merely do the former, then my husband, a half-Ashkenazic/half-Sephardic Jew from Romania and Poland on one side, and Greece/Turkey (but also originally Spain and Sicily) on the other, would show up on their test as an American Latino man. I know this because I've actually run his autosomal markers through OmniPop, and the top six of his match categories are all Latino populations (primarily North American ones).

And if they're stupid enough to merely do the latter, then I, an Ashkenazic Jew with ancestry from Ukraine/Poland/Moldova, would show up on their test as a sub-Saharan African woman, because my mitochondrial haplogroup is L2a1, which is admittedly rare in Jews (1.6-1.8%) but definitely indicative that my great-great-great...great-grandmother (~1500 years ago) was African.

So by the British Home Office's new definitions, my husband is Latino* and I'm Black, so if we were applying for asylum in Britain and wrote that we were White on our asylum applications, they'd call us liars and reject us. Fabulous.

Of course, this happens to be an odd situation where if they switched it around and did mtDNA and y-chromosome testing on my husband they would properly match him to Turkey/Greece and to Romania (respectively) and if they did CODIS/Omnipop on me they would properly match me to Ukraine and Poland. And in both cases if they ran our results through something like Euro-DNA-Calc they would easily tell that we're Jewish. (Which is a scary prospect in and of itself...) But as noted above, if they do the reverse, they get totally different answers. This is a specific, real-life example of how this new policy can be very misleading.

It kind of reminds me of the 1920 US Federal Census where my husband's relatives were legally declared to be Octoroons, not because they had any connection to the US South (they had barely been in the country five years, and were from Turkey) but because the census taker in lily white Portland Oregon apparently decided that they were too swarthy to be "legally" white, so he had to find something else to put down for them. Or look at early 20th Century Virginia, where the racist man who managed the state's birth certificates decided that too many African-Americans were trying to pass as Native American, and so he disallowed any Native American births from being registered in the entire state! (They had to be registered as African-American or Caucasian instead, based on skin tone.) This had major effects to this day on the ability of Native Americans in Virginia to prove their tribal lineages.

So who are you gonna believe, your lying eyes, your lying genes, or your lying self-reported cultural group? If it's a government doing the asking, it will always work out to their own satisfaction for their own ends.

* Yes, you could make a case for Sephardic Jews being Latino, especially since his grandparents spoke Judeo-Spanish at home, but he's only half-Sephardic, doesn't speak any Spanish, and culturally/racially doesn't self-identify as Latino. And he's 6'3". Guess they'll have to go back to just refusing us entry on the grounds of being Jewish. Saves time and confusion for everyone!
posted by Asparagirl at 11:50 AM on September 30, 2009 [17 favorites]


rodgerd: "Let me know when Americans vote to have a Jew in charge."

This prompted me to learn the following:

The first Jew elected to the U.S. Senate was Florida Democrat David Levy Yulee. Yulee was first elected in 1845 and served until 1851 and then served another term from 1855 to 1861.

Not In Charge in charge... but something.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:07 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


One of the abiding disappointments about the Labour government is the continuing disregard for basic concepts of civil liberty. The Liberal Democrats seem to be the only British party who make this an integral part of their platform.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:14 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, you should go back to the USA, where a black man is always taken at his word when he says he's from one place and not another.

An argument that would make more sense if, say, Congress had prevented Obama from taking the Presidency on those grounds. There's a difference between the beliefs of a few wingnuts on one hand, and the official actions of a government agency on the other [or, at least, you would hope there was].


You must not have heard about the no fewer than ten congresscritters who were pushing an amendment to require Obama to provide a "real" birth certificate before he could run for reelection in 2012. I wish it weren't true, but it is. *sigh* The wingnuts are actually in office.
posted by hippybear at 12:23 PM on September 30, 2009


Does anyone think this is something the Conservatives would overturn? Me neither. And we all know the UK is in for at least a 10 year stretch of Tory power. My only hope is that enough people vote for the Liberal Democrats to establish them as opposition, but... well. I might as well wish for a magical flying unicorn while I'm at it.
posted by saturnine at 12:31 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Asparagirl, I don't claim to fully understand the methods or technology they are proposing to use, but the From the first Science Insider link in the FPP: The Border Agency’s DNA-testing plans would use mouth swabs for mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome testing, as well as analyses of subtle genetic variations called single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs).

The article goes on to cite reactions from a few scientists in related fields:
Mark Thomas, a geneticist of University College London who considers the Human Provenance program “horrifying,” contends that even determining a person’s ancestry--as distinct from nationality--is more problematic than many believe. “mtDNA will never have the resolution to specify a country of origin. Many DNA ancestry testing companies have sprung up over the last 10 years, often based on mtDNA, but what they are selling is little better than genetic astrology,” he says. “Dense genomic SNP data does have some resolution … but not at a very local scale, and with considerable errors.”

Details of the plan to use isotope analyses in addition to DNA analyses have intensified skepticism. The plan is to look for ratios of certain isotopes in tissue that could be matched to ratios in the environment where a person was born or grew up. But isotope specialists point to a seemingly obvious flaw: There’s no scientifically accepted evidence that isotope signatures at birth or during childhood are still present in adult samples of constantly growing tissues such as hair and nails. At best, researchers say, those tissues reflect the past year or so of a person’s life. “It worries me as a scientist that actual peoples’ lives are being influenced based on these methods,” says Jane Evans, head of Science-based Archaeology at the National Environment Research Council Isotope Geosciences Laboratory in Nottingham.
It sounded preposterous from my first reading of these articles, and re-reading them makes me realize that any of these efforts will be wasting government money with no way for a reliable outcome of interest or function. Is it really such a problem in the UK to have people falsely claim citizenship from a country of which they are not from in order to receive asylum?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:34 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, what?!

Bonkers.

Oh my country, what a beautiful country you are.
posted by Helga-woo at 12:35 PM on September 30, 2009


The Border Agency’s DNA-testing plans would use mouth swabs for mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome testing

Well, shit. If that's the only standard they're using -- only y-chromosome analysis for male asylum seekers, only mtDNA analysis for female asylum seekers, no mtDNA for males and no autosomal analysis for anyone -- that is bad news and bad science.

How bad, you ask? By that lousy standard, approximately 1/3 of African-American males living in the US today are actually white guys!

(Y-chromosomes are passed down the direct paternal line, passed from father-to-son-to-grandson-etc. Approximately one third of African-Americans descend paternally from white male slave owners or slave overseers on plantations who raped black women, and thus bear y-chromosomes with European sigantures, such as haplogroups R1b or I2.)

If the Home Office is only looking at this y-chromosome, which is a sex chromosome, not even the sum totality of a person's DNA, that is dumb. And if they're only looking at mtDNA for female asylum seekers, then I do indeed get labeled as Black by Home Office standards -- as does my son who inherited my mtDNA. And, as I explained earlier, even the "sum total" autosomal tests are sometimes wrong or misleading anyway, i.e. my "North American Latino" husband.

Or, to put it another way -- here, gaze upon the adorable face of a half-sub-Saharan-African half-North-American-Latino toddler (by the British Home Office's scientifically illiterate standards).
posted by Asparagirl at 1:04 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


You must not have heard about the no fewer than ten congresscritters who were pushing an amendment to require Obama to provide a "real" birth certificate before he could run for reelection in 2012. I wish it weren't true, but it is. *sigh* The wingnuts are actually in office.


Well. Don't I feel foolish. Apologies for the snark.

Asparagirl: you're assuming that there's intended to be any logic to this process. It's theatre. It's 'look at how tough we are on these beastly fake refugees that come here'.
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:24 PM on September 30, 2009


Is it really such a problem in the UK to have people falsely claim citizenship from a country of which they are not from in order to receive asylum?

Unless you get your health care sorted out soon, I fully expect us to be turning back hoardes of fake asylum seekers away from the USA.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:37 PM on September 30, 2009


Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut with an axe.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:43 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Canada's a lot closer.
posted by smackfu at 2:00 PM on September 30, 2009


I'd be curious to know what happens to this information after it is processed and a determination is made on asylum status. Do they keep the DNA, so that they can run it with the criminal database when searching for DNA matches? I find that the scariest part of this whole scenario...they are giving up their privacy, potentially for the remainder of their lives.
posted by fyrebelley at 2:11 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it really such a problem in the UK to have people falsely claim citizenship from a country of which they are not from in order to receive asylum?

A lot of people would really, really like to get into Europe.
posted by rodgerd at 2:48 PM on September 30, 2009


That's seriously fucked up, I mean while it's true that you can often determine indigenous locale from DNA there are a huge number of people who immigrated all over the place in history, and people who have mixed ancestry.
posted by delmoi at 3:09 PM on September 30, 2009


I'll reiterate what is written in the FPP: The Home Office spokeswoman said ancestral DNA testing would not be used alone but would be combined with language analysis, investigative interviewing techniques and other recognized forensic disciplines. (Emphasis mine, of course.)

Regardless their methods, I'm left wondering how this program could be a marked success, insomuch that they expand it to other territories.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:15 PM on September 30, 2009


I suppose the Home Office wouldn't mind re-absorbing all those hundreds of thousands of Irishmen whose y-chromosome DNA shows that their ancestors were actually originally from England or Scotland, right?

Seriously: Pandora's Box, don't open it.
posted by Asparagirl at 3:56 PM on September 30, 2009


If they're using mitochondrial DNA there's a good chance I'm English. Figure they'll let me in? It's only been 400 years or so.
posted by dilettante at 4:21 PM on September 30, 2009


I suppose the Home Office wouldn't mind re-absorbing all those hundreds of thousands of Irishmen whose y-chromosome DNA shows that their ancestors were actually originally from England or Scotland, right?

Not sure I follow you here. Thanks to the Common Travel Area, Irish citizens can legally travel to the UK with minimal identification, and legally live and work there for as long as they like. UK citizens have reciprocal rights in Ireland. This has been the case since before EU membership.
posted by kersplunk at 4:54 PM on September 30, 2009


Oh. *looks sheepish*

Then, um, what about all the Irish-Americans? Millions of 'em! Or the Americans with British direct-paternal-lines and y-chromosome matches? Millions of them too!
posted by Asparagirl at 5:10 PM on September 30, 2009


They'll pry my Tibs Wot from my cold, dead hands.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:45 PM on September 30, 2009


But this has fuck all to do with checking for British parentage, Asparagirl - they're running a small scale pilot to see whether this tech is useful for double checking facts in difficult immigration cases. The crazy outlandish uses for it exist only in your head.
posted by cillit bang at 5:48 PM on September 30, 2009


Somali purines form hydrogen bonds to pyrimidines like this, but Kenyan purines form hydrogen bonds to pyrimidines like this, amirite?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:05 PM on September 30, 2009


But this has fuck all to do with checking for British parentage, Asparagirl - they're running a small scale pilot to see whether this tech is useful

We already know it's not useful. I mean, this was quoted above but:
Mark Thomas, a geneticist of University College London who considers the Human Provenance program “horrifying,” contends that even determining a person’s ancestry--as distinct from nationality--is more problematic than many believe. “mtDNA will never have the resolution to specify a country of origin. Many DNA ancestry testing companies have sprung up over the last 10 years, often based on mtDNA, but what they are selling is little better than genetic astrology,” he says. “Dense genomic SNP data does have some resolution … but not at a very local scale, and with considerable errors.”

Details of the plan to use isotope analyses in addition to DNA analyses have intensified skepticism. The plan is to look for ratios of certain isotopes in tissue that could be matched to ratios in the environment where a person was born or grew up. But isotope specialists point to a seemingly obvious flaw: There’s no scientifically accepted evidence that isotope signatures at birth or during childhood are still present in adult samples of constantly growing tissues such as hair and nails. At best, researchers say, those tissues reflect the past year or so of a person’s life. “It worries me as a scientist that actual peoples’ lives are being influenced based on these methods,” says Jane Evans, head of Science-based Archaeology at the National Environment Research Council Isotope Geosciences Laboratory in Nottingham.
It's not science, it's voodoo.
posted by delmoi at 9:13 PM on September 30, 2009


But this has fuck all to do with checking for British parentage, Asparagirl

Right, the British are checking supposed Somalis for evidence that they are in fact Somalis, or else that they are from the "wrong" country. And they're using technology that can be so wildly incorrect that if the Brits ever bothered to check themselves and nearby peoples who looked like them, rather than poor desperate people seeking asylum from Mogadishu's slums, they'd all be considered to be liars and have their own nativity called into question. If nativity = genes, which is what the Home Office is saying, they need to be using really precise DNA techniques that can avoid errors, not techniques that introduce false information.

I don't mind them using typical paternity DNA techniques, for example, to prove that so-and-so is really the son of somebody in Britain, to expedite the immigration under family reunification. I do object to people being told they're liars and that their nativity is solely based on the migrations of ancestors from literally thousands of years ago.

they're running a small scale pilot to see whether this tech is useful for double checking facts in difficult immigration cases

Okay, Jane Doe says she's Somali and presents paperwork as a Somali. But her mitochondrial DNA (passed from mother to daughter to granddaughter down a direct maternal line) belongs to an ethnic group or tribe that is more commonly found in Central Africa than East Africa. Based on technology that is being incorrectly applied, Jane Doe is now -- and not previously -- at risk for being labeled a liar and having her asylum application rejected -- all because of her great-great-great...great-grandmother having moved a few hundred miles away, potentially between 1000 and 5000 years ago (since mtDNA mutates very very slowly). This is not hypothetical, this is what they're proposing to do right now. This is the exact same test that would show me as Fulani, even though I can trace my direct-maternal line back to a Jewish woman named Perla (no last name, daughter of Berek) who was born in Warsaw, Poland sometime between 1799 and 1801, with the paper records to prove it.

How is this not messed up?
posted by Asparagirl at 10:33 PM on September 30, 2009


I think there has been considerable abuse of the asylum system when industries desire migrants but local populations dislike them. Ideally, moderate levels of immigration should be allowed contingent upon language, education, skills, investments, and non-existence of ghettos of people of the same origin.

Asylum however should usually be restricted to people who are personally targeted by the government of their home country, and preferably only people who've angered government offices through non-violent actions that would be legal in the asylum granting nation.

For example, an ordinary Catalan person should not usually have been given asylum merely because Franco's Spain prevented people from speaking Catalan, but a professor, poet, writer, etc. working on/in Catalan should have been granted asylum.

You obviously won't care whether an asylum seeker is genetically Somali or Iraqi if you're first criteria is items of public record that pissed off their government, like stuff the published, protests they've helped organized, etc.

So, yes, it's all another two faced political trick so politicians can bullshit working class people about how much "we're doing to keep them foreigners from taking your jobs", but truthfully migrants almost always benefit the economy. Immigrants will be more benefit if filtered through the usual sorts of migrant criteria, not asylum seeker criteria.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:21 AM on October 1, 2009


This is so fucking disgusting. Part of me wants to believe that this is nothing more than a grab for the wanker vote, because that's minutely less depressing than the thought that anyone in government considers this an appropriate and humane course of action.

My only hope is that enough people vote for the Liberal Democrats to establish them as opposition, but... well. I might as well wish for a magical flying unicorn while I'm at it.

If we all close our eyes and wish really really hard, it might just happen. I think at this point any previous tactics about voting labour to ensure the tories don't get in are pointless; I'm hoping a lot of people have the same thought and vote Lib Dem, the way they actually kinda wanted to anyway.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:57 AM on October 1, 2009


I think there has been considerable abuse of the asylum system when industries desire migrants but local populations dislike them. Ideally, moderate levels of immigration should be allowed contingent upon language, education, skills, investments, and non-existence of ghettos of people of the same origin.

That's disgusting.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 AM on October 1, 2009


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